Yesterday Manchester United stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 15 points.
This was courtesy of United defeating Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford and City suffering a 2-0 defeat at Everton in the early kick-off.
Prior to yesterday’s top flight games the prospect of Manchester City catching Manchester United at the top of the table looked unlikely, it now looks all-but impossible for the champions to retain their crown.
It would take a major collapse from the Red Devils now for the Citizens to catch their arch rivals and it doesn’t look like happening. Manchester United look too determined to take back the title after losing it to City last season to throw it away now.
According to Manchester City assistant boss David Platt City boss Roberto Mancini was ‘angry’ after the 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park. Presumably the decision to award City a free-kick instead of a penalty late-on when Marouane Fellaini handled the ball in the penalty box was what made the Italian boss feel that way.
In truth though, City could have already been 2-0 down in the first half when Everton winger Kevin Mirallas had a seemingly good effort ruled out for offside.
Everton could also have been awarded a penalty in the first half, when Marouane Fellaini was blocked off by Matija Nastasic in the penalty area. The decision may not have been as cut and dry as City’s claim, but the officials gave poor decisions for both sides.
David Platt also suggested that maybe his team didn’t deserve anything from the game and he was right. Everton were the better team in every department. Even when Everton were reduced to ten men the home side were still solid enough to keep City out.
The champions just didn’t look sharp enough and didn’t have the guile to break down a very determined Toffee’s defence. City didn’t look like they had the same verve and energy that they displayed at times last season.
Their display against Everton really didn’t deserve anything other than defeat and unfortunately for City they have endured too many off these sorts of games this season.
In the late kick-off Manchester United defeated Reading 1-0 at Old Trafford. It was a relatively comfortable victory for United and there was a feeling that they could move up a gear if they needed.
Manchester United have the ability to play under-par and still win games. Manchester City don’t seem to have that in their locker at the moment and that could mean the difference between winning the Premier League title and not.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has received a lot of support from his own supporters this season because he won the Premier League title last season. Questions must be asked of the Italian boss this season though.
Some of his tactical decisions have cost City points this season, such as playing three at the back. The champions just haven’t looked comfortable or capable of playing the formation, yet Mancini insists on using it.
City again played with three centre-backs against Everton and again it didn’t work out for the champions. Mancini hasn’t learnt from his mistakes and City are being punished for them.
Last season’s Premier League title race taught us to expect the unexpected, but surely 15 points is too big a gap to bridge? It’s unprecedented for a team to throw away such a lead at this stage of the season.
It seems that Manchester City fans are now resigned to their arch-rivals reclaiming the Premier League crown. They may not like to admit it but Manchester United has been the better team over the season and it looks like they are set to receive their reward.
Is the Premier League title race now over?